Increasingly it is becoming more common for client companies, insurers and specification writers to require fabricators to comply with or be certified to standards such as ISO3834. Additionally, some EN standards, an example of which is EN1090, require the fabricator to be compliant with ISO3834.
ISO3834 is concerned with the quality management of welding operations and consists of 6 parts. It is possible to be certified to (or be compliant with) Parts 2, 3 and 4, which are Comprehensive, Specific and Basic respectively.
ISO Quality Manual
Many large fabricators will already address control of welding in quite some detail in their ISO9000 Quality Manual, but for many smaller companies their Quality Manual may not be sufficiently detailed, or they may not have any QA system installed at all.
No Quality System then WQMS
For these companies, a WQMS can detail how welding is controlled by management, from the tender stage through production planning to final dispatch of a welded product.
The level of complexity required for the WQMS depends on:
- the size of the company,
- the materials to be welded,
- product range
- industry sector.
For smaller companies with a limited product range, it is often sufficient for them to comply with ISO3834 without the need to gain certification to ISO9000 and the WQMS can be a ‘stand alone’ document that focuses on control of welding and related operations.
For companies that already have ISO9000 certification but who require additional focus on control of welding, the WQMS can either be incorporated into the existing ISO9000 QA manual, or it can be written as an Annex to this, although in this case care must be taken to ensure that duplication or even contradiction between the ISO9000 manual and the ISO3834 Annex is avoided.
Guiding You Through WQMS
Tech Inspections produce a bespoke WQMS designed to address the requirements of any part of ISO 3834 and can guide the company through the process of gaining certification from the appropriately accredited body. Dominic Moran is a UKAS Accredited Lead Auditor for certification to ISO3834, and has carried out many audits across a range of industries, and has guided companies through the certification process.